Plenty of News at County Art Museum

Times Staff Writer

Major excitement surrounds the approaching opening of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Robert O. Anderson Building for Modern and Contemporary Art on Wilshire Boulevard and its inaugural exhibition "The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985." The new museum complex, culminating six years of planning and construction by the museum's board of trustees, will, in effect, give the museum a new front door--one of steel panels and porcelain enamel designed by the architectural firm of Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates.

Last month trustees sent invitations for exclusive events, many black-tie, to celebrate. The occasions begin Nov. 15 with a champagne brunch for artists, lenders and dealers. They extend through Nov. 26. Public viewing begins Nov. 23.

In the far-reaching expansion, museum-goers henceforth will enter through the new partially roofed Times Mirror Central Court, nearly an acre of space bounded by the museum's four buildings: the Ahmanson, the Hammer, the Bing Center and the new Anderson Building. The Anderson Building, a 115,000-square-foot structure comprising three levels of public gallery space, as well as administrative and support space, concludes the first phase of the museum's master plan for development. The full range of the museum's 20th-Century art collection will be exhibited for the first time at the opening of the building. More than 300 works of art will be housed on the second and third levels of the new building.

The social agenda goes like this: Nov. 16 a coterie of donors will lunch and preview the building expansion. Nov. 17 major donors, benefactors and the diplomatic corps will join trustees for the inaugural black-tie dinner and dedication. Nov. 18 is a daylong reception for donors. That evening Founders II ($10,000) attend a black-tie buffet.

On Nov. 19 the first of four day-time previews begin for all museum members. That evening the President's Circle ($1,250 membership category), the Director's Roundtable, the Collectors' Committee and corporate members are invited. Nov. 20 a black-tie buffet will be held for the Modern and Contemporary Art Council. Six evening receptions for other museum members follow Nov. 22-26.

Affairs continue into December. On Dec. 7 the museum will host a family-oriented Winter Holiday Festival from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. hosted by the Director's Roundtable. It features excerpts from famous films celebrating the holiday season. Dec. 16 trustees and American Express host a reception for the opening of "Je Suis le Cahier: The Sketchbooks of Picasso," 200 sketchbooks drawings and notations to be exhibited through Jan. 25 before a national tour.

WONDERLAND: The Winter Wonderland Holiday Ball is around the corner for the Rainbow Guild of the Amie Karen Cancer Fund for Children. President Jennifer Goddard and co-chairmen Kimberly Tragerman and Mary Elson, along with the Rainbow executive board, will festoon the Beverly Wilshire Nov. 22. Singer Rosemary Clooney will entertain along with Pat Rizzo's Orchestra. William Devane and Constance McCashin of television's "Knots Landing," are celebrity hosts.

The annual affair benefits the Amie Karen Cancer Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. More in on the planning are Janice Wallace, Jan Block, Karen Todman, Sherry Nussbaum, Nancy Hildebrand and Erica Lowy.

PLAUDITS: David Finegood of Los Feliz has been named to head the 1987 United Jewish Fund Campaign . . . Pasadena Garden Club members are elated that they won best amateur display at the sixth Los Angeles Flower Show at the Los Angeles State and County Arboretum, the largest horticultural show in California. Mimi Howes designed the display, with support from members Jane Thomas, Dede Clary, Maggie Metcalf and Alice Thomas . . . the Permanent Charities Committee of the Entertainment Industries generated $65,000 with its walk-a-thon.

AND KUDOS: The Dance Gallery has announced new trustees: Royce Diener, Frederick M. Nicholas and Charles R. Redmond. The gallery is scheduled to open in 1988 on Bunker Hill . . . the Guilds of SCR (South Coast Repertory's largest volunteer group), the Junior League of Newport Harbor and the Cabaret Chapter of the Orange County Performing Arts Center received more than $25,000 each from the grand opening of the new Broadway South Coast Plaza . . . Producer Tamara Asseyev receives Loyola Marymount University Alumni Assn.'s Award for Professional Achievement Saturday at the Alumni Grant Reunion at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton . . . Broadcaster Tom Snyder has been named honorary chairman of the second Jimmy Durante Invitational Golf Tournament Tuesday. Proceeds go to the Crippled Children's Society.

PAST PERFECT: Lydia and Roscoe Webb gathered friends for their Halloween ("come as your favorite historical character") party at the Regency Club . . . Barbara Hardesty and Ingrid Hedberg organized the Bib and Tuckers and the Noontimers auxiliaries of the Assistance League for a luncheon and fashion show . . . Murray Fromson, director of the Center for International Journalism at USC, discussed "Today's Headlines: Trying to Get the News Straight" for Town and Gown members at their luncheon Tuesday.

UPSCALE: Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense, will be the speaker Friday when the Independent Colleges of Southern California stages an annual luncheon in the Grand Hall of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center. Carl L. Randolph, vice chairman and president of United States Borax & Chemical Corp., is chairman of the group.

MAJOR MOVERS: The Los Angeles World Affairs Council has scheduled major speakers: Sir William Ryrie, executive vice president of International Finance Corp., speaks Tuesday evening at the Bonaventure, and Harry M. Conger, chairman and chief executive officer of Homestake Mining Co., takes the podium Friday at 11 a.m. at the Ambassador.

WE'RE SORRY: It's Herbert Ryman, not Herman, who will be honored at the champagne reception Tuesday at the Heritage Upstairs Gallery, 8540 Melrose Ave. He was the original concept designer/artist for Disneyland.

UPCOMING: The Music Center Operating Co. and Music Center Restaurants Monday host a press reception to view the new restaurant, Otto Rothschild's Bar and Grill, on Grand Avenue between Temple and First streets. Another attraction will be the Rothschild special collection of photographs . . . Southwest Museum trustees preview "Sun, Silence and Adobe: the Pueblo Photographs of Charles F. Lummis" and "Images from the Southwest: Photographs by Marc Gaede" Thursday evening. Trustee Thomas E. Holliday is host . . . Lifelighters honor husbands and new provisionals with a dinner Sunday at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Mrs. Robert C. Westmyer is chairman . . . The Lettermen will donate proceeds from Monday's 25th anniversary performance at the Westwood Playhouse to the Society of Singers, whose president is Ginny Mancini. The society provides financial assistance to vocal artists. Tony Butala, who founded the Lettermen, is an active member . . . The Women in Film Festival kicks off festivities with a premiere of "Defence of the Realm" and "Seven Minutes in Heaven" next Friday at the Directors Guild of America, then continues the evening with post-show fun at Questar on Sunset.

AND MORE: The American Lupus Society benefits from the Bonnie Bernard Denn Chapter's 10th annual fashion show Saturday. Wendy Spencer is commentator and nearly a thousand are expected, says president Leslie Epstein . . . Members of in the Wings of the Music Center, including Andi Anderson, David Loring, Susan Janes Hilton and Susan Duboc, attended a cocktail reception at Pips-Rodeo, the penthouse club of the Rodeo Collection in Beverly Hills . . . Caroline Ahmanson, a member of the Presidential Commission of Arts and Humanities and the National Committee for the Endowment of the Humanities will greet Lin Quo Zhang, acting consul general from the People's Republic of China, and Sun Yui Shan, vice manager of China's Arts and Crafts Corp., at a private reception and dragon dance at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Los Angeles Biltmore Galleria. It's part of the festivity surrounding the Chinese exhibition and art sale of Chinese antiquities Monday through Nov. 24.

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